An extremely critical part of the golf swing—I cannot overstate its importance—is the take-away, the action at the very start of the swing in which the hands take the club back and the swing begins to take its form.
Let me state as positively and as plainly as possible what a golfer should strive for in the take-away. First, the club should be taken back neither by the left hand nor the right hand but by both hands, working together. The club should be taken back neither outside nor inside but straight back, right on the line of flight. The arms should be just a little short of extended, sort of semirelaxed, as opposed to being overextended or pushed out.
If you start the swing with a correct takeaway, the battle is half done. You will automatically fall into a correct position at the top of the backswing, and knowing this helps you eliminate the thinking you would otherwise do about attaining that correct position at the top. In a few words, then, a correct take-away is the key, as I see it, to simplifying the complicated business of building a sound golf swing.
from PETER THOMSON, British Open champion, 1954
July 10, 1955
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: GENE ANDERSEN ON CLUB SELECTION